Redefining travel for people who aren’t rich (most of us)

In my experience, most backpackers tend to be white. There’s no actual data on this but I’m sitting in a hostel in Perú and there are definitely more white people here than people of color, and I don’t think I’ve seen a black person this morning. There are several people from parts of Asia, such as Singapore, and many of the other people I’ve seen of Asian descent are actually first-generation immigrants from the US, Canada, or elsewhere. This has been the case in Argentina and Chile when I stay at hostels. Bite me.

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Sometimes I feel like a fake salvadoreña

I grew up in Los Angeles after my mother took me there from El Salvador on July 9, 1989. At that time there weren’t as many Salvadorans as there are now, and one of the first places I lived in was Compton. From what my mother told me, her plan was for us to be there for two years so she could learn English and how to use computers. We were extremely fortunate to have obtained tourist visas, meaning we skipped crossing Guatemala and Mexico to get to the US.

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The Shoebox

When I was a kid I would watch my relatives go to El Salvador and leave my mother and I behind. She and I would write letters to our family and my aunt and cousin would take them to the rest of our family. Usually I didn’t know what to say. In many cases I only knew who I was addressing through my mother’s stories because I couldn’t remember the sound of anyone’s voice. I couldn’t tell my relatives apart in pictures without my mother’s help.

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